‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, July 1, 2021

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Whispering Bear, Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 23rd through the 25th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was clear, a tad high and pretty clean looking. Air temps ranged from 56 to 87 degrees. It was very nice for late June on the river.  

The fishing on this trip was fantastic! We caught bream, lots of bass and the Jacks were wild. They were tearing up anything I threw. I had two jump slam over my topwater lure they were so enthusiastic. After the second one did its summersault, Moonpie started singing “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” right up until I threw her butt out of the boat to end all that noise. Most all the Jacks and bass were caught on a stick bait except the few I caught on the Heddon Torpedo. 

We didn’t do too much with the catfish. The first night we caught only one because the river stopped running. However, the second night the water ran really hard and strong, but we caught only two cats, the biggest only about 7 pounds. We had two monster hits on the big cat jug, but both failed to take steel. I thought we were going to get a big one that night as everything was right, even a great full moon was out, but it was not to be.

One of the missions on this trip was to see if the baby eagles were doing OK. However, we were a little late doing that this year. The nest had already been vacated, and we saw not hide nor hair nor feather of them. 

I am very glad to announce that after six years of trying to get the mill to address the errant sawdust issue on the river, they have succeeded in getting the job done. I believe the fix they have in place is the best that can be done for that issue. I also believe the fix will be good for both the river and the mill. It means less sawdust in the river to silt over bedding fish and less that will get in my eyes as well as less lost product for them. Hopefully now they will remove the old belts and other industrial garbage along the same shore that a few years ago they stated they would remove. I’m sure they will eventually, because I believe the mill wants to be a good neighbor to the river. It just takes a bit of coaxing sometimes. Anyway, I’ll continue to report here on that progress.

It is very nice to see improvement along the rivers. I work really hard to facilitate positive changes out there. Often, I have to do this behind the scenes, so to speak, working with state or federal agencies to get things done, which sometimes means I can’t write about it. That’s frustrating for me, and it’s also frustrating for me that it takes so long sometimes to get these things done. It’s also upsetting to me that some people through ignorance don’t understand why I go after these improvements. I get so tired of hearing stuff like, “Well it’s been like that for 80-plus years.” 

Thank God there are intelligent people who do understand that just because it’s been this way or that way for 80 years don’t mean it’s a good thing out here on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.

JEFF TURNER is the Blackwater Nottoway RiverGuard. To contact him about river issues, email him at blknotkpr@earthlink.net.